Evan Davis relishing opportunity to test himself in UK National regatta
Evan Davis, one of Bermuda’s bright prospects in sailing cannot wait for action to get under way at the United Kingdom Nationals, which start at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy today.
Davis, who turns 14 on the day the racing starts was part of the island’s team that competed in last month’s European Championship, in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he finished 155th overall and 45th in the bronze fleet.
“I am really looking forward to the UK Nationals in Weymouth,’’ said Davis, who will be representing the 8 Days A Week team.
“I am hoping for cool, windy, sailing conditions. Although I learnt a lot from sailing in the Europeans last month, being a tall sailor, I found the very hot temperatures, little wind and choppy water in Greece very challenging."
“My aim for UK Nationals is to gain more international regatta experience, to improve daily and hopefully to make the North Americans and Worlds teams next year.
“I enjoy sailing because I love to compete and be on the water.
“My coaches in Bermuda, Nico [Stefani] from the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and Pablo [Weber] from the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association, have supported and encouraged me to work hard and improve.
“Working with Jeron [Gunness] from Alchemy Gym has helped me strengthen my core and increase my overall fitness level, which has improved my hiking and stamina needed for sailing in high winds for hours at a time.”
Pieter Van den Bossche, founder of 8 Days A Week spoke of his delight in having sailors of various nationalities among his team.“ We are looking forward to having sailors in our team from Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, Thailand, France and Bermuda for this event,’’ he said.
“We love to have sailors from different countries joining us. It’s not only great to get to know each other and make friends but also to be able to spar with sailors from different countries pushes them that little extra.
“After our four-day clinic we’re aiming high with our sailors in both the senior and junior championships.
“This winter we’ll be present at four big events in Spain and the Lake Garda Easter meeting, we’re expecting a lot of international sailors to join us during these events.
“It would be great to have Evan and more sailors from Bermuda with us then as well.”
Evan’s mother, Fiona Holmes, expressed her excitement with her son competing in the UK Nationals.
“We are excited for Evan to compete in the UK Nationals this year and train with 8 Days a Week, who come highly recommended,’’ Holmes said. “We understand the importance of international race experience, so decided to look for more overseas opportunities for him.
“Evan’s love for sailing started at an early age, however, his drive to commit and improve came from wanting to make the Bermuda National Squad at age 10-11.
“He started sailing three times a week, personal strength training twice a week and saved up enough money to buy his own Opti, which he fixed up with his dad. He built his own hiking bench, was researching nutrition, watched every sailing YouTube video he could find and made the Saltus Elite Athlete Programme.
“He also gives back by volunteering with the young sailors at RHADC, which he now logs for his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – he is hoping to coach his younger brother in September. Sailing has helped Evan to learn the value of hard work and commitment and we are very proud of him.”